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As part of the prep for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit, senior White House officials briefed reporters Tuesday that the Trump administration would not be pushing for a “two-state solution” in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

That was a marked departure from past administrations, building on other recent diplomatic signals – including indicating that the US plans to have an embassy in Jerusalem and taking a hands off approach to West Bank settlements — that President Trump intends to chart a new course in America’s relations with Israel and the Palestinians.

In fact, at one point one of the officials, speaking on background, seemed to mock the very notion as to vague and unworkable. “If I ask five people what a two-state solution is, I get eight different answers,” the official said.

The Trump administration is not against a two state solution, in which Israel recognizes the Palestinian territories as a legitimate nation and treats it as such, but neither is it holding its breath on that one.

“A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not our goal that anybody wants to achieve,” an official said.

“Peace is the goal. Whether it comes in the form of a two-state solution, if that’s what the parties want, or something else, if that’s what the parties want, we’re going to help them.”

Help, not pressure. White House officials were adamant that “it’s not for us to impost that vision.”

One other hot-button issue that will come up between Trump and Netanyahu when they talk Wednesday, the officials promised, is Iran.

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